By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
When the Morrison Wildcats take the field Friday for the first round of the playoffs, it won’t be the first time they have seen the Fairland Owls. Morrison beat Fairland last season and hope to repeat that result at 7:30 p.m. in Morrison.
“They have a new coach,” Morrison coach Cory Bales said. “They still run a lot of the same stuff. They don’t throw a lot. They have a great quarterback and the offense starts with him. They run a veer option and he keeps it a lot.”
The Wildcats (9-1) won 38-12 last season. Like most games this season, Bales said the key will be stopping the Owls’ running game.
“We are probably going to load up in the box against them,” Bales said. “Which is something most teams do to us. We are going to look to open it up early and hopefully catch them with nine or 10 in the box.”
Fairland (4-5) enters the game on a two-game losing streak — being outscored 69-14, including a 33-0 regular season finale loss to Summit Christian.
The Coyle Bluejackets (8-1) hope their first home playoff game ends with a victory when they face Davenport at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Both teams are playing well as the Bluejackets are on a six-game winning streak and the Bulldogs enter on a five-game winning streak. Coach Shane Weathers said it will be a challenging game.
“We are looking for weaknesses and haven’t found any,” Weathers said. “They move well offensively and defensively. Their quarterback is outstanding. He can run and throw. We will have to be on our toes and play our best game.”
Weathers said the key will be to execute better.
“Turnovers will be huge in this game,” Weathers said. “If you are the team turning the ball over, it’s probably going to be costly.”
The Cushing Tigers (8-2) look to regroup after two straight loses in their first round matchup at the Jones Longhorns.
The Tigers lost 20-19 to Bethany, falling to third place in their district. Coach Barrett Shupe said his team will be in for a challenge.
“(Jones) is playing really good,” Shupe said. “They are well coached and will be a great challenge for us.”
Cushing knows all to well what losing a home playoff game feels like as it fell to Blanchard last season. Shupe hopes his team can go into a tough environment and win.
“We want to be game planning for another game on Monday and not turning in our equipment,” Shupe said. “Hopefully, we can execute our game plan Friday and come out with a win.”
To say the Perkins-Tryon Demons (5-5) are an underdog against the top-ranked Blanchard Lions would be an understatement. Coach Lloyd Wertman said his team will give it its best shot at 7:30 p.m. in Blanchard.
“We are honored with the opportunity to play them,” Wertman said. “It’s going to be tough for us but I guarantee you we will play our best.”
The Lions (9-0) are averaging 41 points per game and are rushing for an average of 338 yards per game. The running game is led by running back Braden Stringer, who has rushed for 2,122 yards and scored 27 touchdowns. Wertman said his team has its work cut out for it and will have to play near perfection.
“We have to make sure we don’t have turnovers,” Wertman said. “We have to be good tacklers, we have to move the ball and capitalize on every opportunity.”